The game tape that WINS THE SEASON - Taranis
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The game tape that WINS THE SEASON

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November 06, 2023

A Retailer Focus on Dialed-In Customer Service

Tyler Tobald
If you’re a fan of TikTok, Tyler Tobald of JTAC Farms does a great job of breaking through the marketing to give honest on-farm reviews. The young musician-turned-farmer lends a unique perspective to his family’s farming operation that includes capitalizing on out-of-the-box opportunities and practices with a focus on technology.

“Dr. TikTok,” as our host, Mike DiPaola, Chief Commercial Officer, jokingly refers to Tobald, has been making waves on the social channels and, in doing so, inadvertently sharing a message that is near and dear to the Taranis mission: making agriculture better by bringing small communities together through information and using service to bring people closer.

A Central Valley Ag customer, the north central Kansas farmer, tells us that the 2023 growing season was his 10th year of farming, sharing that his road back to the tractor cab took the long way around the barn.

“I was a musician growing up. I went to Kansas State University on multiple musical scholarships, but burnout brought me back to the farm, looking for what I wanted to do with my life. I realized about four months into working on the farm that I had found myself more than I had in the past four years of college,” he shares, adding that the career change didn’t come without a learning curve.

“Farming was not an easy thing to do, especially my first two years—I don’t enjoy being the dumbest person in the room, and I found myself listening to people talk about herbicide rates and fertilizer blends. I knew that I had a lot of self-learning to do.”

 

Dialed-In Customer Service

In addition to learning from every resource he could get his hands on, Tobald learned quickly that his local CVA retail location’s Precision Ag Manager and Retail Agronomist, Kevin Swenson, was an invaluable resource in meeting JTAC Farms’ production goals.

“Kevin is very customer-oriented; that’s one of the things I enjoy most about what they provide for me. They are providing solutions that are dialed into exactly what I’m looking for,” Tobald says. “When I started looking into corn — our farm hadn’t planted corn until last year because of the challenges of our soil and tough weather conditions. I did some research, talked with Kevin, and he came back to me with a seed variety that would fit our tough, rocky ground. He made sure I had the information I needed to get the best bang for my buck.”

Additionally, Swenson introduced Tobald to Taranis in early 2022—a tool that, Tobald says, quickly became a game changer.

In the podcast, DiPaola opens the Taranis dashboard and within a few seconds, both he and Tobald are having a substantive conversation about the condition of Tobald’s field we can all see on DiPaola’s monitor. Tobald in Kansas, DiPaola in Indiana, both looking at the same information and having a conversation as though they were standing in the field. That, Tobald says, is what makes Taranis AcreForward insights a game changer for his operation and puts CVA leagues ahead in terms of customer service.

“Knowing that he (Kevin) and I are seeing the exact same thing—it isn’t an interpretation. We are having an apples-to-apples discussion, and we can dial in exactly what we need for an exact location of a field. It’s a game changer,” Tobald says.

Tobald opted for the six flights after seeing the information Swenson shared with him about Taranis, a decision he says hinged the value he immediately saw.

“I have unbiased, cold, hard facts. You can’t argue with a picture that says you are way short on potassium through a part of your field. You can’t argue with a picture that says I should have sprayed a spot in the field because now there’s a bunch of pigweeds there,” he says. “Having all that information at my fingertips has been a real game changer. I can make decisions now. Last year, I was on vacation and got a text asking if I would like to do (a specific spray application), and I was able to say, “No, I think we’re good.” I pulled up the app and could see exactly what was needed. There’s no reason to drop $25 or $30 an acre when I’m looking at a picture that tells me the only thing I have is Holcus Leaf Spot.”

DiPaola and Tobald go on to investigate JTAC Farms’ 2023 crop from stand count through mid-growing season when the podcast was recorded. The pair discusses managing nutrient deficiencies, diseases, and insects throughout a tough #Grow23. Every acre tells a story, and in this episode, DiPaola and Tobald break that story down into plant-level pictures that make Taranis AcreForward a tool retailers and growers can’t afford to operate without.

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